We’re back to the world of Game of Thrones.
This week, Jimmy and Tom are covering the episodes “Walk of Punishment” and “And Now His Watch Is Ended”.
jimmy: Let me start the discussion of these two episodes by saying, “I didn’t expect that to happen!” and you tell me what I’m talking about.
tomk: Hmmm, let me think. I’d say it was a three-way tie between finally meeting Cat’s incompetent brother Edmure, seeing a Fast and Furious cast member playing translator for Dany, or finally hearing a live version of this weird running gag from the book “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”.
Though hearing a blearing rock song over the end credits was a bit of a surprise.
tomk: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” is this little thing from the third book that, whenever any character in Westeros breaks into song to entertain people, always goes for the same song. That song. About a young woman being attacked in the forest when something scares her attackers away. Expecting a brave knight or something, she turns to see she’s been “rescued” by a bear.
jimmy: As bears are known to do. Right after stealing picanic baskets.
tomk: Methinks it doesn’t end well for the Maiden Fair.
But surprises? What could have surprised Jimmy…
I mean, there’s what happened to Jaime, what happened to Commander Mormont and Craster, what Varys had in the box, Dany’s purchasing and language power…
And the Queen of Thornes continuing to own people like she used to do with talking pigs.
jimmy: Lol. I’m afraid one of them wouldn’t last long on Game of Thrones.
tomk: Considering one of them is the Queen of Thorns, I think you underestimate Miss Piggy.
jimmy: No spoilers!
tomk: OK, so, there were some big surprises and such, so you tell me what surprised you the most and we can go from there.
jimmy: Well, it was in your list. Definitely Jaime losing his hand.
tomk: Season three fills in a lot of backstory for Jaime. He may not be the complete bastard you thought he was.
And not just because “bastard” is Jon’s role.
jimmy: I can finally see how he could start becoming a popular/sympathetic character.
tomk: Well, to start, we didn’t talk last time about how Brienne beat him in a fight.
jimmy: Yes! Shame on us!
tomk: Jaime’s the finest swordsman in the realm, or so we’ve been told, and Brienne beat him.
Granted, he was maybe a little out of practice and shackled, but he did lose that fight.
jimmy: I was just going to say the same thing.
Am also picturing Jenny jumping on her couch Tom Cruise-style during and after the fight.
tomk: Jenny doesn’t need an excuse for that.
jimmy: The scene is so sudden and shocking and then they cut to the boisterous “out of place” rock song, you are left feeling “Wtf just happened?!?!”
tomk: It’s his swordhand, too. He ain’t the finest swordsman in the realm any more.
jimmy: And it understandably devastates him for a while, until a pep talk from Brienne.
tomk: Of all people.
But maybe watching a maimed man wearing his own severed hand like a necklace flop in the mud and drink…unappealing liquids can draw her sympathy.
jimmy: Why would he even have a canteen full of horse piss?
tomk: Why wouldn’t he?
jimmy: Uh…common sense and decency?
tomk: Maybe in Canada. This is…nah, I got nothing.
Does all of this happen in the books?
tomk: Oh yeah.
Remember what I said last time. Jaime becomes a POV character, and like all other POV characters, he becomes a heck of a lot more sympathetic. Seeing life through his eyes shows he’s actually got some redeeming characteristics.
jimmy: It’s interesting at times to compare this show to The Walking Dead, even though you don’t watch (and I assume, read) it. Comic book Rick Grimes (spoilers) loses a hand very early on. TV Rick Grimes still has both. They tease it now and then, but it never happens. The producers have pretty much come out and said that it is for budgetary reasons as it wouldn’t be practical for the main character who is in every other scene to need his arm constantly CGI’d out of existence.
tomk: GoT obviously has a bigger budget to work with. Plus, Jaime isn’t necessarily in every episode.
But as I mentioned before, book-Tyrion loses his nose in the Battle of Blackwater. Here, just a cool scar.
jimmy: Besides the practicality there…it’s probably not the greatest visual for a key member of the show.
tomk: But Jaime, well, he got captured and had a rude surprise. So did Theon. Theon’s story isn’t in the book.
jimmy: The final reveal of Theon being back in the torture chamber was a bit of a surprise, but I started growing suspicious of that guy that was “helping” him, and pretty much called it prior to him entering the room.
tomk: Yeah, that guy…
That freakin’ guy.
jimmy: He’s the second worst!
tomk: Well, he isn’t the kind of guy who takes his fiancee around the capital’s cathedral and just shows off the graves of people who died gruesomely.
tomk: I assume Joffrey is the actual worst. Unless Watson is.
jimmy: A little from column A, a little from column B.
tomk: So, it goes Watson > That Guy > Joffrey or Joffrey > That Guy > Watson?
jimmy: Hmm…let me get back to you on that. But to your point, Joffrey sure was excited to show Margaery around and tell her about all those deaths. And then she turned the tables by getting him to step out and smile and wave at the “adoring” crowd…much to Cersei’s chagrin.
tomk: And then Cersei got told off by Tywin. Says he, “I never discounted you for being a woman. I discounted you because you aren’t as smart as you think you are.”
Which, coincidentally, is something Tyrion once told her.
jimmy: Because Tyrion is smarter than people think he is.
And always nice to see Cersei get put in her place.
Tyrion tells her off. Tywin tells her off. Margaery is better at controlling Joffrey than she is.
jimmy: She is better, but also has a weapon that Cersei can’t (dear God, shouldn’t and hopefully doesn’t) use on Joffrey: her sexuality.
tomk: Cersei only has eyes for a different blood relative.
One who now goes by the colorful nickname “Lefty”.
tomk: So, we’ve circled that storyline a bit…what else can we say about it? Maybe we can point out Joffrey had Ned Stark beheaded, and Theon only JUST NOW realized who his “real” father was.
jimmy: Because Theon’s a moron.
tomk: Yeah, well, he was used to thinking with something in his pants.
jimmy: Men. *shakes head*
tomk: They can’t all be cool like Cat’s uncle the Blackfish.
jimmy: Cool, and a better archer than others.
tomk: Edmure just…has problems.
jimmy: That scene was funny. Tragic, but funny.
tomk: It was also a good way to introduce two new characters without giving them any real dialogue. You know pretty much everything you need to know about those two by the time the scene is over.
jimmy: Good point.
tomk: And then in the following scenes you learn Edmure is a bit of a loser and Uncle Brynden is a tough old man who knows what he’s doing.
jimmy: The old guys usually do, or they wouldn’t make it to be old guys.
tomk: Robb seems pretty competent compared to Edmure to boot. Maybe it’s just those guys in the middle that’s the problem.
jimmy: Robb is pretty competent anyway. Comparing him to Edmure makes him look practically Pod-like.
tomk: Aw c’mon. Pod is really good at one thing.
jimmy: Really, REALLY good.
tomk: The level of good that just amazes and perplexes.
jimmy: And saves Tyrion money.
tomk: Unexpectedly, yes.
jimmy: If Pod spills his secrets, Littlefinger’s business could be in trouble…though he seems to be making other plans as it is. Two bed plans.
tomk: Two is better than one big one.
jimmy: Depends on the company.
tomk: Sansa Stark, age 14 or so?
jimmy: I meant the company that makes the beds. Some are more comfortable than others. What were you thinking?
tomk: Sansa might be in the market for one big one if she marries Loras of the Iron Flowers. Why?
jimmy: How old is Iron Flower?
tomk: I dunno. Older than Margaery?
Ya know, no one trusts Littlefinger and damns him for his manipulating and playing of the game…but I think Margaery is pretty much the same. Just not as smarmy.
tomk: Show me someone who isn’t that isn’t also at the bottom of the food chain on this show.
jimmy: I just thought it was an interesting comparison as Littlefinger is hated and Margaery loved…except by Cersei.
tomk: Littlefinger had less luck showing off his cleavage.
Plus, he’s engaged to Lyssa Arryn. She’s not even anyone’s idea of a second runner up.
jimmy: Yeah, I’d be pining for the fjords, or Cat, too if I was in that situation.
tomk: I’m sure Littlefinger will make a wonderful step father to Lord Crankydiaper.
jimmy: I just threw up in my mouth a little. Maybe he fell out the moon door by now.
tomk: Well, I’m sure someone will have an accident there sooner or later.
Man, when you dislike a character, you really dislike a character.
jimmy: I like to take things to the extreme! Like Poochie.
tomk: Aw man. Poochie died on the way to his home planet.
Much like Commander Mormont, he did not live to see his home again.
jimmy: Very. Nicely. Done.
Yeah, that was pretty surprising too.
tomk: But maybe not completely. We saw some grumbling going on. Now, granted, Sam got away with Gilly and the baby, and Jon’s other friends are not part of that mess, but it got ugly.
tomk: All that fight was missing was a guy with a trident if we’re talking quick escalation.
jimmy: As you said, the fight wasn’t completely unexpected. A few of the Night’s Watch were none too happy to be there, nor with their host, and let him know it. I was surprised they turned on their leader though.
tomk: Well, they were in a lot of trouble as it was. They were blaming Mormont for bringing them out there in the first place, so yeah.
But the Night’s Watch were hurting for people anyway. Having a full rebellion doesn’t help.
jimmy: Definitely not. I was thinking there can’t be many of them left now. That’s not gonna help the defense of the Wall when they need it most.
tomk: Jon said Mormont started off with 300 men. All the bodies the Wildlings found at the Fist of the First Men were horses.
jimmy: In a scene that was not disturbing at all.
tomk: The White Walkers love their spirals.
jimmy: The horse budget on this show must be through the roof!
tomk: That or it’s a convenient way to not use horses when all the horses keep dying off-screen.
jimmy: They need to save them for Jaime to fall off of.
tomk: Or to pull Arya’s cart.
Oh look, the Brotherhood has a leader we’ve seen before! Sort of…
tomk: The whole lot of them worship Melisandre’s Lord of Light. I hope Thoros doesn’t give birth to a Shadow Assassin.
jimmy: Yeah, hearing they were followers of the Lord of Light wasn’t a good sign.
tomk: You sound like a LordofLightaphobe.
jimmy: Hey now. I’m not saying they’re all alike, but the other Lord of Light follower we met weighted as much as a duck and could produce murderous shadow demons from her nether regions.
tomk: I’ll give you that one. That said, Martin has claimed Melisandre is the most misunderstood character in the series.
jimmy: I can keep saying that Watson is the most misunderstood character at Gabbing Geek, that doesn’t mean anyone is going to like him.
tomk: I think I had a particularly mean Watson joke to make there, but I’m skipping it in favor of pointing out someone we generally like did something awesome instead.
jimmy: Are we going back to talking about Pod?
tomk: Another kind of awesome.
jimmy: Hot Pie making a delicious wolf out of bread?
tomk: Well, there was cooking involved…
jimmy: Dany proving she should not be underestimated?
tomk: Yeah, she really owned that slave master.
She understood every awful thing he said.
jimmy: I know, so great. The scene was a bit surprising but more along the lines of figuring it out as it happened like Theon, than shocking like Jaime. I figured when she got the army should would turn them against him. And Ms Impossible said, “I knew there was no way she was giving up one of her dragons,” when the slave master was turned into an overdone Pop Tart.
tomk: She handed over Drogon too. He’s the loyalest of the three.
jimmy: That was when I started getting suspicious I think. And the fact that she took ALL of the army. Plus Ramsey.
tomk: The book plays it a bit differently. Since we’re seeing the incident play out through her eyes, it is never a surprise she understood his language. I think this is one time for certain the show did it better.
jimmy: There’s just some things that work better in different mediums. Like your points earlier about the changes they had to make to Theon and Barristan’s stories only reversed.
tomk: Very true. Some changes are debatable. Theon’s torture, for example, worked better on the page since it is never explicitly described. We only see the end results and even then there’s a lot that’s implied. Here, well, we get an awesome scene of Dany essentially saying, “I know what you’ve been saying about me, dumbass.”
Followed shortly thereafter with, “Dracaris!”
jimmy: And then a whole lotta (fire emoji).
tomk: Plus, Barriston and Jorah learned she’s not a fool.
jimmy: For sure. And yadda, yadda, yadda, now she’s got the biggest, most loyal army on the show.
tomk: And no ships to take them across the Narrow Sea.
jimmy: You always gotta be a Debbie Downer don’t you, Tom?
tomk: I need to before you start asking why she doesn’t just head straight to Westeros.
jimmy: Well, duh. :-p
tomk: But on the subject of Dany and her army, was there anything else you had to add for this week, Jimmy?
jimmy: Other than Tyrion continuing to be awesome, pulling that chair across the room in the first counsel meeting, nothing major. I guess next episode we’ll see Dany marching her army straight into Westeros.
tomk: Sure. Why not? Shall we look and find out?
jimmy: Let’s do it!
And so out Watch continues. Be back soon as we cover the episodes “Kissed by Fire” and “The Climb”. That one may have some climbing involved.
Wednesday “Quid Pro Woe”
Noteworthy Issues: Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #13 (March, 2023)
The X-Files “Talitha Cumi”